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Your most impressive asparagus staging rocket engine arrangement


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I really dig the Soviet N-1 rocket's unique engine arrangement (think about it, it's actually a gimballed toroidal aerospike engine made up of 30 smaller engines). Thanks to the efficiency of asparagus staging such big engine clusters are a common sight in KSP. So let's share your most impressive looking asparagus engine cluster.

Here's my:

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Stage 1: 12 BACC big SRBs tipped with liquid fuel tanks to get this bad boy off the pad, the liquid fuel feeds the inner engines

Stage 2: 4 aerospike with seven 400L tank each on top

Stage 3: 2 aerospike with three 400L and one 200L each on top, setup so that the tanks feed the center spacecraft while the engine feed off the spacecraft tanks. This way I can drain them first but then have the two aerospikes keep burning out of the spacecraft's own fuel. The aerospike is connected to the tanks with a decoupler to prevent tanks from feeding downwards

Stage 4: spacecraft's own 7 nuclear rocket cluster, for final 200m/s burn into orbit. The spacecraft is a 9600L capacity interplanetary mothership designed to carry multiple landers. It will be refuelled on orbit to top up the tanks before leaving.

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The Thunderchild hasn't shared the fate of it's namesake and melted yet then?

I tend to go simple but when I'm looking for efficiency I drop off tanks individually (well, in pairs for balance) rather than asparagus style so I'm afraid I haven't got much to share in that line, but there is this machine:

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I really must dig out the file again, it was never flyable before because it was very sensitive to the aero-kraken but it may be possible to get it to orbit now.

Edited by EndlessWaves
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The Thunderchild hasn't shared the fate of it's namesake and melted yet then?

SNIP

I really much dig out the file again, it was never flyable before because it was very sensitive to the aero-kraken but it may be possible to get it to orbit now.

You could asparagus stage that... Drop tanks from the outside and feed fuel into the center... That would be crazy, it's crazy that it ever flew to begin with.

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That would be crazy, it's crazy that it ever flew to begin with.

With enough SAS modules you can rule the world make anything fly. In this case there was one on top of each tank so the whole thing was perfectly balanced (central three were 2x ASAS and 0.8ton capsule) with each engine lifting exactly the same weight. Although this particular design didn't work it flew just fine after re-arranging it into a cross shape.

It was build for the strutless monstrosities challenge.

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This is my interplanetary explorer, with radially attached tanks grouped into two main stages, using Kerpollo Stage I and II engines.

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Function before form... but it gets me to the surface of Eve and back, no problem! :)

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Does this count? It was back in 0.16 and I don't have the rocket anymore to take better pictures, this is from a solar escape mission. The middle part of the rocket has about 15 stages of LFE-30s on stacks of three fuel tanks, all fuel lined into the central three. They break off in pairs of three; the first burns out about 1s after ignition.

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I love that linear rocket though. I'm going to try somethign similar. I assume its launched off the runway

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Edited by Bluejayek
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Asparagus staging is where you have several radial fuel tanks + engine stacks all feeding fuel into the next stack via pipes, discarding each stack (or more usually pair of stacks) when it runs out of fuel. Say you have six stacks around a central one. Two of those stacks will feed into the two next to them, which will then feed into the next two, which will feed into the central stack. Only one (or two) two fuel tanks will be used at a time, and you discard any empty fuel tanks with non-burning engines as soon as they run out, optimising thrust-weight ratio and delta v.

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Look carefully at the fuel line below, notice how one pair of parallel stage boosters feeds another pair, which then feeds a third pair which then feeds the center sustainer motor? This allows each pair to be dropped as soon as the fuel is consumed while keeping the inside of the asparagus fully fuelled until the staging event.

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This is an extremely efficient way of staging and can get pretty complicated when you have many layers, hence the point of this thread.

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Look carefully at the fuel line below, notice how one pair of parallel stage boosters feeds another pair, which then feeds a third pair which then feeds the center sustainer motor? This allows each pair to be dropped as soon as the fuel is consumed while keeping the inside of the asparagus fully fuelled until the staging event.

2w6ykax.jpg

This is an extremely efficient way of staging and can get pretty complicated when you have many layers, hence the point of this thread.

That's a great shot. I had no idea my recent staging experiments had resulted in asparagus staging.

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using them requires more parts to lift the same weight than the big engines and tanks even if they are far more efficient. usually i try to keep the part total low and the complexity as low as possible (not that its possible with a 10k ton asparagus rocket)

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